Raina Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels Smile, Drama, and Sisters, all #1 New York Times bestsellers. She also adapted and illustrated four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club series, and has contributed short stories to many anthologies. Raina’s accolades include two Eisner Awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor, and many Best Of and Notable lists. Her newest graphic novel is Ghosts. Raina lives and works in San Francisco, CA.
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.
Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.
Oh boy, what do I say? I’m a freelance writer by day, a fantasy author by night, and a massive nerd all the time. I play lots of RPGs—mostly video games, although I am hoping to do more tabletop role playing this year—and read less books than I should, but more books than a lot of people I know.
What types of books do you write, and why?
I write alternate world fantasy, both YA and adult books, usually with a darker bent. Why I write these books is a bit more complicated. First and foremost, fantasy is the genre I’ve spent the most time in and these are the stories that pop into my head, often in my dreams. But when I’m building my world, fleshing out my characters and adding details to these stories I am also focusing on something bigger: challenging fantasy stereotypes.
To challenge these stereotypes I write strong female characters with true agency. I create worlds where strong women are accepted, not an anomaly. Many of these worlds also have very different attitudes towards sexuality, gender and relationships. Most importantly, I show my characters having a wide range of relationships, both sexual and otherwise.
All Lai has ever wanted is to become a priestess, like her mother and grandmother before her, in service to their beloved goddess. That’s before the unthinkable happens, and Lai fails the trials she has trained for her entire life. She makes the only choice she believes she can: she runs away.
From her isolated desert homeland, Lai rides north to the colder, stranger kingdom of Alanum—a land where magic, and female warriors, are not commonplace.
Here, she hears tales about a mountain city of women guardians and steel forgers, worshiping goddesses who sound very similar to Lai’s own. Determined to learn more about these women, these Keepers of the Dawn, Lai travels onward to find their temple. She is determined to make up for her past failure, and will do whatever it takes to join their sacred order.
Falling in love with another initiate was not part of the plan.
Keeper of the Dawn is a tale of new beginnings, second chances, and the endurance of hope.
Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat.
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Visit Emily at emilyrking.com.
The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen Series Book 1)
by Emily R. King (Author)
In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood in the ancient Tarachand Empire, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.
For how confident my Main Characters can be, I sure am pretty shy for an author. Just kidding. I’m likely to tell you a little too much about myself. Don’t those first three lines already say the world about me? Not enough?
Well, it all started years ago. When I was a young boy, I always had a story to tell. I’d always be talkin’ – talkin’ for miles. My family members used to always say, ‘you should write a book.’ But I didn’t like books. Surprise! They were always this dry stack of old crusty papers I had to read in order to get a passing grade in school. (Ghetto school systems, yo :P)
So, I grew up on video games and movies, basically. Thankfully it was during a time when CGI wasn’t everything, or fancy graphics. Back then, storytelling was the name of the game and franchises like Final Fantasy was my poison. So I got in my reading, along with a grand adventure to crazy new worlds. It wasn’t until college that I opened up to the idea of books and writing. Alright? Origins out of the way
About five years ago, I had an idea for an amazing story after getting fed up with some recent movies and shows for being so.. crummy. So I said to heck with it, I’ll write my own story, my way, the way that I like ‘em. Only took a few chapters to realize I had a passion for it. Only took a few CP’s to realize that I was like a seagull with a paintbrush. :p My writing back then could have very well been considered a crime against humanity Naw, I’m j/k. I do that a lot. It was bad though.
Here’s a little silver lining, one-liner, to sign me off with for this question: I stuck with it, got better, honed my craft and skills, and even if nothing comes of my stories, I’m glad I learned all that I did.
What types of books do you write, and why?
I’ve always liked stories with deeper meaning, the one’s where like if you choose to glance at it from afar, it’s a pretty good story, but if you decide to dig in, there’s more, and more the deeper you go. I like all characters to have a deep and rich storyline, even the minor ones. This may not exactly translate to my two or three recent stories as they are a WIP – but, rest assured, I’ve spent plenty of time with each of my MC’s and Villains thinking about many aspects of their lives, writing up interviews and mixing and matching them to see what happens.
So … yeah. Sci-Fi mostly, though I’m working my way toward a Horror story. I suppose it might be due to my early exposure of fantastical new worlds from games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Final Fantasy, none of which ever did a good job on the big screen. Play the games DO NOT watch the movies. But, to be fair, that’s bad advice at this point as most people couldn’t handle the blocky graphics of PS1/2 games these days
The US Department Of Defense contracts a Private Military Force known as SCOR to investigate a mysterious, supernatural outbreak on the tropical island of Samoa. Four brave women, under the highest level of secrecy, will investigate in order to prevent WW4; but nothing is as it seems.
Kell Frillman resides in the heart of Pioneer Square in Seattle and enjoys coffee houses, movies, and appletinis. When she’s not writing, sleeping, eating or doing other necessary human activities, she works hard at her day job with an animal rescue that saves lives one dog and cat at a time. Although she tolerates the human race and enjoys the roller coaster rides her fictional characters take her on, she first and foremost attributes the successful completion of each novel to the patience and support of her beloved pets. Keep on reading!
Caroline Lentia is from the small European country Austria. She started writing when she was thirteen when a school-homework, a one page essay in German ended up as a twelve page fantasy story. Still full of ideas for this story she spent every day at home continuing to write and after four months several exercise books were full of fantasy worlds, aliens, kings and queens from other planets and mysterious creatures. Keep on reading!